Blue Apron: The Pros and Cons

July 28, 2014 · 0 comments

in MISCELLANEOUS

Hey guys! A lot of people have asked me about my Blue Apron experience, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my opinion of what the pros and cons are of this meal delivery service. Let’s get to the good stuff first…

The Pros:

1.Fresh Food: One thing that’s tough about purchasing your own produce is that it’s either not as fresh or vibrant as you’d like it to be, or it just don’t last a very long time. (Don’t you hate wasting food because you couldn’t use it quick enough before it went bad?) The produce and meat that comes in a Blue Apron box is packaged so well (see #4) that it always not only tasted fresh, but lasted quite a while in a fridge…sometimes as long as two weeks!

2. Affordable: Each box comes with ingredients for three meals and (at least) two servings per meal. At $9.99 per serving, the entire box is just under $60, which is pretty good considering you can’t get a salad in NYC for less than $10 to save your life. Plus, most of the portions are pretty huge and I many times I had leftovers for lunch the next day. So you were paying for six servings, but most of the time I got at least eight serves out of one box.

3. New Ingredients: As you’ll see in my “cons” list below, many of the ingredients were a bit more exotic than necessary for the type of cooking I want to do. However, Blue Apron gave me the opportunity to experiment with ingredients I had been wanting to cook with, but just never got around to for whatever reason. For instance, soba and udon noodles. Bok choy. Eggplant. Lemon grass. Have you peeled a stalk of lemon grass and put it up to your nose? Amazing. And beets! Who knew beets were so easy and delicious to cook right in your own kitchen? Before Blue Apron, I only ate beets at restaurants. And well, I now know how to make rhubarb jam. I can’t say for sure I will ever make it again, but that’s still a nice little ace to have up my cooking sleeve.

4. Packaging and Instructions: Everything is portioned out so that you have the exact amount you need and packaged neatly and securely in small containers and seal-tight baggies. One of my favorite healthy living bloggers gives a step-by-step peek at the packaging and cooking experience here.

5. Meal selection: There’s something for vegetarians, carnivores and everything in between. You can look at the menus in advance and change your preference from week to week based on what looks best to you. I really liked this  flexibility and mixed it up often!

Fish tacos, lamb burgers, noodle soups and salads — I enjoyed many tasty Blue Apron meals over the past several months!

The Cons:

1. Time-consuming: Do you have 60 minutes at the end of a long day to cook dinner? Me neither. I might not be a knife skills master, but I’m not a rookie either. I know how to chop, mince and dice vegetables at a decent pace. (My husband would probably dispute that statement, but I’m sticking to it!) Even so, 60 minutes seems to be the average amount of cooking time you need to make a Blue Apron meal.

2. Exotic dishes: Aloo Chana Masala is tasty, but sometimes you just want salmon, brown rice with broccoli and call it a day. While I loved learning about new ingredients and cuisines, what I really wanted was to learn how to cook basic, classic dishes really well. I tried lots of new flavors using Blue Apron, but I don’t feel like I’m a better, more confident chef because of it. If you follow @wannabehealthnut on Instagram, you know that there were many BA meals I was proud of; however, there were almost as many that left me feeling frustrated. (Why don’t my quinoa pancakes look anything like the picture?!) Cooking doesn’t come naturally to me, so understanding the “science” behind what flavors work well together would have been much more beneficial than say…learning how to make a Caramelized Fennel Zucchini Tart.

3. Clean-up: After all that chopping and dicing, you will (usually) have lots of different dishes, pans or bowls piled high in the sink after cooking at Blue Apron meal. Bowls of all sizes are needed for veggies, herbs, sauces or marinades. And often times grains, (more) veggies or a type of protein will need to be cooked on the stove top while you have another component of the dish cooking in the oven. There are a lot of moving parts. That being said… a friend of mine who is new to the service said she hasn’t really found that to be the case, so maybe I am the one who did something wrong? Perhaps. I guess I just always felt more organized when every ingredient was put in a container or dish as I prepared the meal.

Overall, I think Blue Apron is a great idea for anyone who has the time (and patience) to experiment in the kitchen, but I have decided to cancel my subscription. Perhaps at a different stage in my life I will return to it again, but I’m just too busy right now. I want to learn how to make an amazing five-ingredient soup or a simple, but kickass kale salad that dinner guests will want the recipe for. Know what I’m saying?

 

*Need help with your health and lifestyle goals? Want to lose weight and be your BEST SELF without feeling deprived and obsessed about food? I’m a Board Certified Health Coach + Emotional Eating Expert; contact me for a free consultation and let’s get started!


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